APEI Awarded $3.5 Million to Develop Power Module for Fighter Jet

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
Photo Submitted

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $3.5 million contract to Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc. to develop a high-temperature silicon carbide power module for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Arkansas Power Electronics International (APEI) — the largest company affiliated with the University of Arkansas at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park — specializes in advanced, high-performance electronics for a variety of customers and applications, including the defense, aerospace and hybrid/electric vehicle markets.

The silicon carbide power module that APEI will develop for the fighter jet will be based on the company’s unique wide band-gap material packaging and device expertise. A wide band-gap material is a semiconductor that withstands much harsher environments and enables high performance applications.

The Air Force contract will fund the transfer of laboratory-tested silicon-carbide power electronics technology developed at APEI to a motor drive on the F-35 that allows that allows the pilot to control the aircraft’s flight control surfaces, which include flight altitude, ability to turn, speed, stability and other vital features.

The Joint Strike Fighter, currently in development, is part of the Air Force’s new “more electric” and “all electric” aircraft design philosophy, which mandates the replacement of costly and bulky mechanical hydraulic aircraft flight control systems with lighter weight, high-reliability, low-maintenance electric motors and drives.

The high power densities and high voltages required to operate mechanical flight systems with electric motors are driving a transition to high-density silicon carbide power electronic systems; these systems are capable of operating at higher efficiencies, higher voltages, higher power densities and higher temperatures when compared to conventional silicon electronics.

APEI frequently collaborates with faculty at the University of Arkansas and a majority of its 49 employees are graduates of the university.

 “I am pleased to see this latest contract award to Arkansas Power Electronics International to develop technology that will benefit our warfighters,” said Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, who visited APEI in November 2013 to congratulate the company on recent contract awards from the U.S. Army. “APEI’s work in wide bandgap power electronics is doing great things for high technology manufacturing in Arkansas.”

“The Arkansas Research and Technology Park has created a unique business hub that helps lure next-generation manufacturing jobs to the state,” said Arkansas Sen. John Boozman. “Having APEI produce this vital component of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a win-win scenario. The Air Force needs to upgrade to a modern, lighter aircraft and we welcome the jobs and economic growth for Northwest Arkansas.”

Follow APEI on Twitter @APEIinc and on its Facebook page.

Contacts

Ty McNutt, director of business development
Arkansas Power Electronics International
479-443-5759, tmcnutt@apei.net

Chris Branam, research communications writer/editor
University Relations
479-575-4737, cwbranam@uark.edu


Editor-selected comments will be published below. No abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, spam or material of a similar nature will be considered for publication.

comments powered by Disqus

Headlines

Video Features Guiding Priorities Crafted Through Campuswide Collaboration

Input from the faculty, staff and students was used to create future eight focus areas for university to make the University of Arkansas an even better institution.

Fall 2017 Honors Seminars to Focus on Cancer and Race

Signature Seminars explore cutting-edge topics, taught by campus leaders.

Apply Today to Be a Student Leader in University Programs

Executive officer applications are due Wednesday, Feb. 8, at noon and committee chair applications are due Wednesday, Feb. 15, at noon.

Welcome Back Exhibit: Love and Other Drawings

The Welcome Back: Love and Other Drawings exhibit will be on display Jan. 19-27 in the Anne Kittrell Art Gallery on the fourth floor of Arkansas Union.

History Professor Appointed as Book Editor for Ohio University Press

Todd Cleveland, an assistant professor in the Department of History, was recently appointed as a book editor for Ohio University Press' "Africa in World History" series.

Newswire Daily